Welcome to the final week of Spec’s Le Pour de France wine tour! We’re following the riders across France and giving you a rundown of the wine regions they’re in so as they’re pedaling you can be pouring glasses of regional favorites. This week brings us into the south of France for some truly incredible wines with a rich history of production and viniculture.
With 300,000 hectares of vineyards covering the Languedoc-Roussillon region is France’s largest wine producing region. In fact, it’s estimated that one in every 10 bottles in the 20th century originated here. The vineyards here are often referred to as patchwork due to so many different grape varieties being grown together. Most of the wine makers focus on blends instead of single varietal wines.
The five sub-regions include:
- St. Chinian – Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault.
- Faugères – Grenache
- Picpoul de Pinet – Picpoul
- Corbières – Carignan, Syrah and Grenache
- Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux – sparkling wines
From The Region
Fresh red fruits leading with strawberries on the nose followed by a bone-dry palate with mouthwatering fruits and a perfectly clean finish.
A golden straw color with an aromatic nose of citrus and passion fruits that hit s the palate with an intense bouquet of fruits and floral perfumes.
Fresh fruit notes of red apple, quince, and crunchy peaches. An energetic rosé with enchanting notes of verbena that adds intrigue and brightness.
Rhône Valley Region
The Rhône Valley was established as a hub of wine culture by the Romans who used the Rhône as a highway through France and planted a few vineyards along the way. Today, the region runs the course of the Rhône River from south of the Beaujolais region in Burgundy down to north of the Mediterranean Sea, where it intersects with the regions of Provence to the southeast and Languedoc to the southwest. The Rhône Valley is separated into two different large areas that each produce different styles of wine: Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. The Northern Rhône makes red wines based on Syrah and the whites are either 100% Viognier or can be a blend of Marsanne and/or Roussanne. The Southern Rhône makes wines that are typically more blended, but the base for the reds is usually Grenache.
From The Region
A taut, fennel-edged version, with green melon, pear skin and floral notes filling in. Shows a pretty mineral echo through the finish. Sneakily long.
A pleasant note of toastiness with notes of plum jam, lavender and thyme, presented with a round but lively mouthfeel.
Aromas of dried currants and dates, with undertones of bitter cherry, cinnamon and Christmas spice. Forward flavors of soft red cherries, blackcurrants, and damp forest floor. Balanced with easy drinkability.
Savoie (“Sav-wah”) consists of many isolated sub-regions and plots of vineyards scattered across four French departments: Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Isère, Ain. Savoie neighbors Switzerland (to the East), the Jura region (to the North) and the little-known Bugey region, which is west across the Rhône river. All told, the region is under 5,000 acres (2000 ha) accounting for a mere 0.5% of French wines. If you like white wines, this region is for you, as 70% of the wine produced in Savoie is white. While the wines of Savoie are little known, the vermouth of the region is quite famous.
From The Region
Produced entirely from gamay, this sparkling rose is a wine of immense charm offering ripe strawberry/raspberry aromas and a refreshing acidity to balance its subtle sweetness.
A blend of 80% gamay with 20% poulsard (a local grape) patrick bottex’s ‘la cueille’ is a deep rose in color with a lovely taste of wild strawberries.
Delicate and feather light, it offers green apple and floral aromas on the nose. On the palate, it is dry and extremely refreshing, with crystal clear purity.
If you have any questions about a particular region or a specific wine, your local Spec’s experts can help guide you through the wonderful world of French wines! You can also use our online search feature to find wines from particular regions or categories.
No matter how your team placed in the Tour de France, your palate is definitely on the podium after finishing Spec’s Pour de France Wine Tour!